Langston Hughes and Bloke Modisane: Revisiting the Archives with Siphiwo Mahala

Tuesday, November 14, 2023 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511
Open to: 

Join South African literary historian, author, and playwright Siphiwo Mahala for an up close look at the relationship between American writer Langston Hughes (1901-1967) and South African writer Bloke Modisane (1923-1986) through their correspondence collected in the Langston Hughes Papers at the Beinecke Library.

Mahala did research in the archives as part of his process for his play, “Bloke and His American Bantu,” which reimagines the reimagines the friendship between Modisane and Hughes.

This event will take place in a Beinecke Library classroom on the courtyard level and include an opportunity to see archival material. The event will include screening of a video clip of Mahala’s play and remarks by the playwright about his research and writing.

Mahala is an award-winning author, editor, playwright and academic from South Africa. He is the author of the novel, “When a Man Cries” (2007), two short story collections, “African Delights” and “Red Apple Dreams and Other Stories,” and two critically acclaimed plays, “The House of Truth” as well as the play about Modisane and Hughes. His latest book “Can Themba: The Making and Breaking of the Intellectual Tsotsi,” offers the most definitive study of Can Themba’s life history. He is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Johannesburg, Senior Fellow at the Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study, and editor of Imbiza Journal for African Writing. This event is co-sponsored with the Council on African Studies at the MacMillan Center, where Mahala will give a related talk on Wednesday, November 15, at 4pm, in Luce Hall.

Kindly note for this event in the Beinecke Library on Tuesday, November 14, 4pm, all visitors will need to check any and all bags, coats, and other personal belongings in secure lockers on the library’s ground floor before going to the courtyard level class room.